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Fryingpan Mountain Lookout Tower is a 1.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Asheville, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Length 1.5 mi Elevation gain 347 ft Route type Out & Back
Kid friendly Hiking Nature trips Walking Bird watching Running Forest Views Wild flowers Wildlife
Description
Waypoints (0)
Getting There

Note: As of October 4, 2020, users have reported that the tower is now closed; visitors are prohibited from accessing the stairs. You can still walk to the top of the hill for the views. The Fryingpan Mountain (5,340 ft.) is in the Pisgah Ranger District southwest of Asheville NC. It's noticeable feature is a 70ft fire tower on its summit. It is the tallest fire tower in the entire state of North Carolina. You can get the same and arguably better views as nearby Mount Pisgah, but this is a much easier hike and far less crowds. A great short family hike! The fire tower has views of the entire Balsam Mountains range. It has a close-up view of famous Cold Mountain which is just a mere 5 miles north. Looking Glass Rock and Mount Pisgah are not that far away either. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is visible as well. The fire tower itself can be a little intimidating to climb. The cab of the fire tower is locked, but you can take the old metal stairs to just below it and get stunning 360 degree views. There are communication towers on the summit as well but they don't really interfere with the view.

Fryingpan Tower is about 22 miles from Asheville (allow 45 minutes to drive). From Asheville, head south on the Blue Ridge Parkway to Milepost 409.6 and park at the entrance to the Forest Service Road 450. The road gate is always closed (do not block it). Walk around the gate and walk up the gravel road to the summit. This section of the Parkway is closed much of the winter due to snow and ice. Best time to visit is April through October. It's often cooler and windier at the top, so be prepared!

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (422)
Photos (258)
Recordings (321)
Completed (920)
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Sean Kitko
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Elizabeth Baumrind
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Hiking

Busy! Line for going up to tower

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Megan Bruss
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Hiking

There is a "closed" sign across the stairs but it doesn't block you from going up. Deadbolt is back on the trapdoor unfortunately. Great as always, though.

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Rose Thomas
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Rachael Rourke
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Hiking

easy, wide trail. But it was super cloudy, so no views

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Jim Sterna
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Bridget Greenwood Humphrey
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Angela Adams
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Eryn Johnson
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Hiking

relatively easy hike. right up the gravel road. right at 1.5 miles round trip. views were a little obstructed from the top. on romanticasheville.com they mention being able to go up the fire tower, however, once there, there was a sign saying area closed. undoubtedly the views would be more visible from higher up. I guess it just depends on whether you decide to go around the sign or not.

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Bill Yedkois
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Michael Zeiser
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Billy Atchison
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Melissa Mcknight
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HikingGreat!

Trail is easy as it’s access road the whole way. Fire tower bottom 3 stairs have been removed and a closed sign is posted. Have to shimmy yourself up if you want to climb the tower nOw! Well Worth it for the view tho!

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Angie Tuerck
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Hiking

The tower is now closed; visitors are prohibited from accessing the stairs. You can still walk to the top of the hill for the views.

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Chris Russell
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Annie Frazier
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Hiking

Spooky, cool night hike.

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Nancy Buck
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Jason Reiling
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Hiking

Did not complete. Raining

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James Sherlin
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Hiking

Nice trail with a great view

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Stephanie howard
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Hiking

awesome

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Michael Dorchak
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Hiking

Well kept gravel road. Uphill all the way. Great view from the tower

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Puja Gatiwala
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Hiking

Did this hike on a gorgeous day, we had amazing visibility. The top tower hatch was locked when we went but the views are still amazing. It is a gravel road all the way up, with a steady incline but not difficult in my opinion. Parking is limited, but easy to do.

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Ferra Hoover
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Tom Monaghan
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Hiking

Gravel road up to look out tower. Nice view from tower.

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Natalie Reed
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HikingGreat!

This trail was actually just a service road, which does make for an easy hike. Today (9/20), the door to the very top was locked, but it was still very neat to climb the tower and views were great. My two dogs hiked to the bottom of the tower with us, but we didn’t have them climb the actual tower due to the gaps in the stairs and it being relatively crowded with people.

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Toby Schaffer
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Hiking

Not really a trail but still - great view, just wish the platform were open.

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John Bai
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Abel Joel
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Andrew Donatelli
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RunningGreat!

Great views, the hatch was locked at the top Friday morning

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Blythey1 B
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HikingGreat!

Steep climb up a concrete path to the lookout tower. Very windy and narrow ladder to step up to the top which was open (latch metal door is very heavy, be cautious when opening). Beautiful 360 views on the top of the tower.

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